The Moveable Club

photo: 1st partial group photo

Most of today's new and regular club members,
holding still for a second.

"Crawfish Are Fit to Eat"

Paris:- Thursday, 22. March 2001:- Spring, a day late, visited this part of France today for ten or fifteen minutes, but today's club meeting wasn't called on account of it. As usual it was held today because it is Thursday.

I have been looking forward to the meeting because I am pretty certain Shirley Lindsay, the famous Utrillo detective, will be at it - even though she wrote to say she intended to be at the meeting with Tony Lindsay, who is not a Utrillo detective.

This has turned out to be the case. They have taken an un-club table because some lady civilians are filling up most of the club's regular tables.

I hardly have a chance to sit down before Sally and Thurman Smith arrive from - I don't know from where - and Didi Stewart comes in from Boston, closely followed by Todd Sanders, who joined the club last week - and Marilyn Burke turns up too, this time from New Jersey.

This influx makes it immediately necessary to move the whole shebang to the café's north wall booths. In the turmoil Shirley reminds me that Chesterfield, Missouri is this week's 'City of the Week' and I'm glad she does this, because then the roof falls in.

By this I mean that Sally and Thurman Smith leave the meeting at about 15:15 before I can find out their home town and long before any photos are shot. The couple did check out the Samaritaine's fifth-floor restaurant, and this is all I know.

There is a huge shifting of tables, coats, bags, chairs and whatnot as Chris Landry, from Baton Rouge, Louisianaphoto: 3rd group, mirrors arrives with Bob Bose on her heels. He is no relation and doesn't get a pass at the members' booklet, so he is another one who remains hometownless.

Having posed once, a fraction of club members carry on with the meeting.

I had thought the café's end booth would be more than enough, but Tracy and Ron Smith have trouble jamming themselves in. At this point, today's 'Waiter of the Week' Monsieur Ferrat dislodges the civilian ladies and sweeps their debris away so we can take over the club's true domain.

But I tell you, this meeting it out of control anyway. The member's booklet misses Tracy and Ron Smith too, and I have only my own notes to say they are present - actually it is a sketch I made so I could put names to photos - ones that still aren't taken.

The members' 'Thing of the Week' comes from Bob Bose, who says, "The first thing I do in Paris is light a candle in Notre Dame, in thanks for being back."

While everybody is in the laborious process of shifting yet again, I get them planted - minus the members who've already left - for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' For this I make no sketch - and anyway, the caption would fill the whole page.

Another jolly item is Chris Landry telling me she prints these club reports and peddles them on the streets of Baton Rouge, which I think is a fine thing to do if she wants to do it for the profit and glory of the club.

As we move into the club's true location within the café La Corona, we now have Carolyn and Bill Cross of Waveland, Mississippi as members, plus Nancy Blancé, who is also from Waveland, and Eric Rathbone from Dallas, which everybody in the world knows is in Texas.

The racket! Everybody is talking at once and Monsieur Ferrat looks harassed until everybody starts ordering pots of wine, instead of eight or nine different sorts of refreshments.

New members turning up are not over, as Mary Hartley from Logansport, Indiana and Karen Murphy from Chicago prove. Karen is not in thephoto: glasses, wines best shape because of the four different direct flights they took - all involving stopovers in 'Indy' - and other members confirm that direct flights from places other than New York, are not quite so 'direct' anymore.

The club's regular tables offer more real estate for glassware.

After Todd Sanders helps me look up a telephone number for Didi Stewart in the downstairs waterworks, I find that I've 'jumped' Tracy and Ron Smith ahead in my notes - when they should be last because they've arrived at 16:55 - and they have entered themselves in the member's booklet and given Knoxville, Tennessee as their hometown.

Actually, the couple came to a eeting once before when it wasn't Thursday, and left a card that was passed on to me - so they seem like long-time members already.

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